LSU Leads the Way in Cyber Protection for Louisiana Higher Ed

March 07, 2023

Partnering with Industry and the State

The establishment of a student-run Security Operations Center, or SOC, on LSU’s flagship campus in Baton Rouge with an immediate counterpart at LSU Shreveport will enhance the security posture of the LSU system. The SOCs will leverage shared resources and threat intelligence across Louisiana and create a blueprint for as many as 31 institutions of higher learning in the state to protect themselves from cyberattacks.

LSU is pursuing a bold vision to work side-by-side with industry to put students on the frontlines of the relentless global fight against cyber threats. In partnership with Splunk, the market leader in software and solutions to secure complex digital infrastructures, and TekStream, Splunk’s cloud partner that brings technical expertise and staffing solutions to organizations of all sizes, LSU will give students the opportunity to get hands-on experience in this critical field.

The key connection that will enable statewide reach is the Louisiana Optical Network Infrastructure, or LONI, a high-speed fiberoptic network owned by the Louisiana Board of Regents and managed by LSU. By reimagining existing infrastructure as a cybersecurity platform, LSU is using $5 million in state support to launch the SOCs on the Baton Rouge and Shreveport campuses and enable more affordable SOC services and cyber defense for every school connected to LONI. Schools can choose to stand up their own physical SOCs, run by their own students, or have LSU extend its SOC services to protect other campuses. Students will be trained by and receive 24/7 support from TekStream and, importantly, help alleviate the burden on the state to respond to cyberattacks.

“From the south to the north, we can work together,” said LSUS Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives Julie Lessiter.

AI-generated image of a data padlock with the outline of the state of Louisiana on the front

LSU, an NSA-designated Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations, is working with industry to reimagine cybersecurity education and defense for Louisiana.


“We are very grateful for this partnership. More entities trained in threat assessment enables Louisiana to increase visibility of cyber incidents, and sharing those threats in a timely manner makes us all stronger. The students will receive irreplaceable real-world experience in this space, allowing us to help develop the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.”

Dustin Glover, chief cyber officer for the state of Louisiana